Low pass marks for physically and mentally challenged students as compared to others has become a stumbling block for the differently-abled students appearing for the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) examinations.
They are denied even a single grace mark when they fall short of the target. Other students can get up to 15 grace marks,while the differently-abled students are denied such marks on the ground that they already have a lower pass mark.
The pass mark for general students has been fixed at 35; for differently-abled students,there is no definite figure. The board officials fail to clarify if the 20 marks benchmark set for the differently-abled students makes them ineligible for the 15 grace marks available to others.
Y M Vyas,Officer on Special Duty (GSHSEB),explained: When differently-abled students do not score 35 marks,they are declared passed at 20. While 20 can be considered as pass mark,it is already grace marks if you compare that to the pass mark of the general students. Therefore,there is no question of giving grace marks to differently-abled students. There can be no system for them as this is an extra benefit for them.
The Ahmedabad City Secondary and Higher Secondary School Administrative Staff Federation have represented the issue after a couple of such cases came to their notice.
Yogesh Mishra,the vice-president of the body,said: A couple of such cases had come to our notice. In fact,there was a case where a differently-abled child had scored over 50 per cent in all subjects except Mathematics in which he scored 15 marks.
He only needed five grace marks to pass,but it was denied; general category students are easily given seven grace marks. Seeing this case,we thought of representing the issue in the Executive Council meeting of the Board.
However,the meeting held this week was dissolved within five minutes of the session opening after the members staged a walkout on the issue of non approval of the agenda decided in the previous meeting.
When contacted,K H Patel of GSHSEB said: While there is a regulation that says that the differently-abled be declared pass at 20 marks when they do not score 35,it does not specify the pass marks for such students.
He added: However,since there can be no limit to concession,we have to cut it off somewhere. I have,however,not seen such representations from students in our office.